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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2018-05-08, 2:24am
jsknow4445 jsknow4445 is offline
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Default Making Holes in freeform pieces

I have very little experience with lampworking but really enjoy playing with the torch and all of the beautiful glass. Recently I was attempting to pierce a hole in an off mandrel pendant with the Peters tweezers - and was never really able to get a hole opened up. I was using Bullseye coe 90 glass. The tool just seemed too whimpy for the job - most likely just poor technique on my part. In my search for a solution, I found this tool called Handy Andy designed for this purpose but they are $75. Looking for input on how others make holes and if anyone uses Andy's tool and thinks it's worth $75?

Thanks June
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  #2  
Old 2018-05-08, 6:51am
dusty dusty is offline
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I think the Handy Andy's are probably worth the money, if they suit your purpose. For putting a blob of glass on top of something, then piercing a hole in the blob, they're great.

A tungsten pick can do more. It takes longer, and takes more skill to use. Basically, you heat it until it starts to glow, and then bore through the glass with it. You'll often have to bore through both sides (and you can use the Peter's tweezers to make indentions to line up the holes). It takes work and some luck (I could use more practice), but I can put a hole through about any shape without distorting the shape much at all.
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  #3  
Old 2018-05-08, 7:23am
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dragonart glass dragonart glass is offline
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Handy Andy's are definitely worth it. Peter's tweezers are really just for making a pinch or corresponding marks so you know where to put things like eyes, or you can make indents before using a pick. Handy Andy's are made with tungsten picks so they can withstand the heat and the way the tips cross makes it easier to pierce the glass. The basic tungsten pick as described above is good to know how to use too. All are good tools to know how to use for versatility.
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Old 2018-05-08, 4:21pm
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Handy Andy's are worth it. I have the old school ones without the replaceable tips and they wore out after 8 or 9 years and a lot of use. I just recently got these bail biters and they're pretty good! I was pleasantly surprised.
http://www.mountainglass.com/Bail-Bi...1#.WvIwWIgvyM8
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  #5  
Old 2018-05-08, 5:57pm
dusty dusty is offline
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How do the Handy Andy's compare to the bail biters?
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  #6  
Old 2018-05-10, 5:35am
losthelm losthelm is online now
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Look for towel forceps and cut off the little clamp bit.
The poking end may need to be adjusted just a little so they meet.
Follow up with a tungsten pick or reamer.
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Old 2018-05-10, 8:45am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty View Post
How do the Handy Andy's compare to the bail biters?
Haven't had them long enough for a real comparison but so far so good and they're easier to squeeze. I don't know if they're easier to squeeze than the *new* Handy Andy's cuz I don't have them.
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Old 2018-05-10, 9:37am
dusty dusty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Muses Glass View Post
Haven't had them long enough for a real comparison but so far so good and they're easier to squeeze. I don't know if they're easier to squeeze than the *new* Handy Andy's cuz I don't have them.
Cool, thank you!

I had an extra pair of two-dollar needle nosed pliers, so I made my own bail biters yesterday. It was easily under 5 minutes to make them - as others have said here or elsewhere, just heat to cherry red and bend with another set of pliers. It was really easy to make them, and I think that about anyone could make them as well as they can be made.

They work well enough, but I'm not overly happy with them. It's kind of hard to choose to spend $80 on Handy Andy's, not knowing if they'll be any better.

Last edited by dusty; 2018-05-10 at 9:41am.
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  #9  
Old 2018-05-10, 5:51pm
Shaper Shaper is offline
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I think the "Jaws Donut Tool" is great for making holes in any type of hot glass, $55.00 + shipping.
https://www.ustglass.com/shop/tools/jawsdonut-tool/
Mountain glass carries them also but are out of stock right now
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  #10  
Old 2018-05-10, 6:00pm
jsknow4445 jsknow4445 is offline
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Thanks everyone - I appreciate the input. I believe I will try the bail bitters for a little while just to see if I really need to make holes as often as I think - thank you for the link.
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  #11  
Old 2018-05-12, 7:05pm
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Handy Andy’s followed up with a tunsten pick. This combination even works well on boro.
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